Preps Talk

NBC Sports to carry live coverage of the 2018 IHSAA Wrestling State Championships

NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports to carry live coverage of the 2018 IHSAA Wrestling State Championships

NBC Sports Chicago to Televise & Live Stream (via,, and the NBC Sports app) LIVE HIGH-DEFINITION COVERAGE of the IHSAA Individual Championship Wrestling

Class 3A Semifinals (Friday, Feb. 16 at 3:30 PM), 1A & 2A Semifinals (Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 PM) and Finals (Saturday, Feb. 17 at 6:00 PM; to air on NBC Sports Chicago+)

Iowa High School Sports Network ( to produce the Wrestling State Championships featuring the announcing tandem of

Iowa Wrestling Hall of Famer MARK IRONSIDE and veteran Iowa sports broadcaster & wrestling expert BOB SELBY

NBC Sports Chicago available throughout the entire state of Iowa on numerous cable, telco, satellite, and streaming services;

Viewers urged to contact their local provider if they do not receive NBC Sports Chicago as part of their viewing package; Full details at 

Chicago, IL (February 13, 2018) -- NBC Sports Chicago, the multi-platform home for the most in-depth coverage of the local and regional preps sports scene, along with the Iowa High School Sports Network (IHSSN), will deliver LIVE high-definition coverage of the 2018 Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Wrestling State Championships on Friday, February 16 & Saturday, February 17 from the sold-out Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines, IA. 

Iowa wrestling fans can look forward to EIGHT HOURS of live, action-packed individual championships coverage this weekend beginning with the Class 3A Semifinals on Friday afternoon from 3:30-5:00 PM CT, followed by Friday night primetime coverage of the Class 1A & 2A Semifinals (7:30-10:00 PM CT), all of which leads up to four-straight live hours of the highly-anticipated Class 1A/2A/3A Finals on Saturday night starting at 6:00 PM CT.  NOTE: Saturday’s coverage will air on NBC Sports Chicago+; please visit’s CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area.

In addition -- EVERY IHSAA Wrestling State Championship telecast on NBC Sports Chicago will be accessible LIVE via and the NBC Sports app.  Authenticated NBC Sports subscribers can watch live IHSAA Wrestling State Championships action from anywhere in the United States.  Fans can also visit to access the live stream.  For a full list of carriers and more information about NBC Sports Chicago’s live streaming service, viewers are urged to visit the following link:

IMPORTANT: In addition to multiple cable and telco providers throughout the state of Iowa, NBC Sports Chicago is also available throughout the entire state on satellite via DIRECTV (ch. 665, 665-1 for NBC Sports Chicago+) and DISH (ch. 429, and varied DISH channel locations for NBC Sports Chicago+ programming).  In addition, NBC Sports Chicago is also available on numerous streaming services including DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, fuboTV, Sling TV, CenturyLink Stream, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.  Viewers who currently do not receive NBC Sports Chicago as part of their channel offerings are urged to contact their provider and ask that NBC Sports Chicago be added to their service.  As noted earlier, authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers can also view the IHSAA Wrestling State Championships on,, and the NBC Sports app.  For a complete schedule, cable/satellite channel locations, live streaming information, and additional details about NBC Sports Chicago’s coverage of the IHSAA Wrestling State Championships, fans are urged to visit      

Calling the action for NBC Sports Chicago’s live coverage of the IHSAA Wrestling State Championships features Iowa/National Wrestling Hall of Famer Mark Ironside handling play-by-play, along with veteran Iowa sports radio & TV broadcaster Bob Selby providing expert analysis.  Ironside captured two NCAA titles and four Big Ten titles for the University of Iowa, and was also a four-time All-American for the Hawkeyes, who was coached by the legendary Dan Gable during his stellar collegiate run.  In 1998, Ironside won the Dan Hodge Trophy, wrestling’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy, as the nation’s top collegiate wrestler. 

This year’s roster of standout athletes features an outstanding senior class as Fort Dodge’s Brody Teske (Class 3A, 126 lbs.) and Underwood’s Alex Thomsen (1A, 126) look to become the State’s 26th and 27th four-time gold medalists.  In addition, University of Iowa recruit Nelson Brands of Iowa City West, (3A, 160) will seek his third title, while Northern Iowa recruits Michael Blockhus, New Hampton-Turkey Valley, (2A,138) and Kyle Biscoglia, Waukee, (3A,120) hope to notch a third title as well.

West Des Moines Valley’s Joel Shapiro (3A,182) and Grant Stotts (3A, 152), both Iowa State recruits, look to seize their second title and several other senior 2A wrestlers are seeking to become two-time champs -- Williamsburg’s Grayson Kesterson (2A, 113), South Tama’s Isaac Judge (2A, 152), Davenport Assumption’s Julian Broderson (2A, 182), West Liberty’s Bryce Esmoil (2A, 195), and North Fayette Valley’s Jordan Baumler (2A, 220).

Several under classmen are also looking to add to their respective trophy cases.  Albia junior Aden Reeves goes for his second consecutive title in 2A at 120. Sophomores Cullan Shriever of Mason City (3A, 106), Class 1A’s Adam Allard (West Sioux, 113) and Lisbon’s Cael Happel (120) will attempt to stay on course with their second championship, all in hopes of staying on track to secure a coveted fourth title down the road.

In Class 1A, seniors Wapsie Valley’s Donny Schmit (132) and Kaleb Krall (145) are in search for a second gold, while seniors Riceville’s Chance Throndson (145) and Alburnett’s Tanner Sloan (195) are also seeking gold for a second time.  Akron-Westfield’s junior John Henrich is on pace to capture three titles, looking to add to his 160-pound championship from a season ago and Dubuque Wahlert transfer Josh Ramirez, winner of three golds in Louisiana, is seeking his first Iowa title in 2A at 160.

PROGRAMMING NOTE:  NBC Sports Chicago will carry and provide live stream coverage of the IHSAA Boys Basketball State Championships, featuring eight playoff semifinal match-ups (airing March 7-8), along with live coverage of the Class 1A-4A state title games (airing March 9).  Full details on coverage specifics will be announced on Monday, March 5.

De La Salle's Joe Bonds ready and excited for the next chapter of his football career


De La Salle's Joe Bonds ready and excited for the next chapter of his football career

Chicago De La Salle senior linebacker Joe Bonds (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) and soon-to-be NIU Huskie will have zero problems fitting into the "The Hard Way" mantra once he reports to DeKalb this summer.

I had a chance to catch up with Bonds and his teammates at the sixth annual Franklin Middle School Dodgeball Tournament in Wheaton. Proceeds from the event benefited the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Cammy Can, Jack’s Army and Franklin Middle School.

Bonds, a three-star inside linebacker is one of several Chicagoland headline names who comprised of a very strong NIU recruiting 2018 class.

Bonds, who signed with the Huskies over offers from multiple FBS level schools, looks ahead and discusses his soon to be transition from De La Salle to college football and more.

What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

@RamblerHockey Twitter account

What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

A state champion will be crowned Saturday at the United Center, when Loyola Academy Gold plays Stevenson for the Boys Red Division State Championship.

Here are some of the storylines we’re watching ahead of the game.

1. Coaching connection: These two coaches have known each other for more than 20 years. Loyola head coach D.J. LaVarre coached against Stevenson head coach Tom Wood when Wood played youth hockey. LaVarre also knows Tom’s dad, Jim, who is the former head coach at Stevenson. Currently the coach Stevenson’s JV 2 team, Jim won the AHAI high school coach of the year in 2007.

2. Fun rewards for players of the game: At Stevenson, the player of the game is awarded a hard hat. At Loyola, it’s a championship belt.

3. International influence: Stevenson’s goalie, Elias Sandholm, is a transfer student from Sweden and has the highest save percentage in school history, .951. He made the all-state team and the Chicago Showcase team.

4. Next man up: In net for Loyola will most likely be Hugh Brady, a senior who stepped up when Thomas Moran went down with a hip injury. Brady has played 47 games and has a .945 save percentage.

5. A drought will be snapped: Stevenson has never won a state championship. Loyola is looking for its first since 1996.

Puck drop is at 3 p.m., with the girls’ state championship game, Glenbrook vs. New Trier, starting at 11:30 a.m.

One more fun note: Team USA gold medalist and Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne will drop the ceremonial puck prior to both games.